Whiting catch share reallocation

Action status

  • Implemented
  • Undergoing NMFS Review
  • Approved by Council
  • Under development by the Council

In March 2012, the Council considered matters associated with the 2011 District Court Judge Thelton E. Henderson decision in the case C10-4829-TEH: Pacific Dawn, LLC, et al. v. John Bryson, et al., including the February 21, 2012 Court Order on Remedy. This order remanded “for further consideration” the regulations addressing the initial allocation of whiting for the shoreside IFQ and the at-sea mothership fishery. In response, in 2013 the Council reconsidered its original recommendations for whiting quota allocation and recommended that:

  • the moratorium on quota share transferability originally set to expire for all species at the end of 2012 be continued, as necessary, throughout the end of 2013 for all quota share of all species, except widow rockfish, for which trading has been extended until December 31, 2014 or until consideration of widow quota share reallocation had been completed (whichever comes first),
  • the provisions to allow mothership catcher vessel endorsements and allocations to be separated from the permits be delayed until September 1, 2013
  • the deadline for those receiving an initial QS allocation in excess of the QS control limits be extended to November 30, 2015, and
  • the deadline for those receiving mothership whiting catch history allocations in excess of the QS control limits be extended to August 31, 2016.

On August 1, 2012, a temporary rule implementing the first of two adjustments was published in the Federal Register.

After reconsidering, the Council recommended that the original allocations not be changed. The Council transmitted its final recommendations on the possible reallocation of whiting quota shares and catch history assignments on October 30, 2012:

The proposed rule on whiting reallocation was published on January 2, 2013 and the public comment deadline was February 1, 2013. The final environmental assessment was published in March of 2013 and the final rule was published on March 28, 2013 with an effective date of April 1, 2013. On March 29, 2013, a second suit was filed challenging the whiting allocation (Pacific Dawn II).  The December 5, 2013, the court ruling, upheld the final whiting quota allocation recommended by the Council and implemented by NMFS. On February 3, 2014, the plaintiffs appealed this ruling they filed their opening brief on May 13, 2014.  A hearing on this appeal was held May 10, 2016.